First Aid

First Aid is the immediate response you give to a person when they suffer an injury or become ill.

First Aid At Work – legal requirements

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 requires all employers to provide ‘adequate and appropriate’ equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. 

These Regulations apply to all workplaces including those with less than five employees (and to the self-employed). This means that if your community group or organisation has premises where staff and volunteers work, you have a statutory duty to comply with the legislation requirements.

What constitutes ‘adequate and appropriate‘ will depend on the circumstances in your workplace:

  • the hazards you have identified from a Risk Assessment

  • the number of employees you have

  • any existing accident and ill-health records

  • working arrangements within your building

  • whether or not the general public visit your premises

The minimum First Aid provision is for employers to have:

  • an appointed person to take charge of First Aid arrangements

  • a suitably stocked First Aid box

What about members of the public?

There is no legal requirements for an employer to provide First Aid to non-employees, but if your community group or organisation has customers/clients/users visiting your premises it would be best practice to include them in your First Aid provisions.

First Aid Training

First Aid training can range from a one to three day course depending on the level of training that your group chooses in response to your Risk Assessment (and with reference to your Health and Safety policy). 

If you are a large organisation with many staff and/or volunteers, it is part of your legal duty to provide First Aid cover in the workplace. However even for small community groups or organisations with premises, staff or volunteers, best practice would be to have at least one person trained in basic First Aid to enable you to deal with minor accidents. Any First Aid training will also require to be refreshed with follow up training every few years.  

For a list of First Aid trainers contact the Scottish First Aid Association